Company-wide corporate portrait shoot. One of the typical bread and butter photography work for us.
Sometimes we know it’s the same old routine except for the people we engage. Some quieter, some more hyper than us.
But just like the blood moon that coincides with the close approach of Mars on 27 Jul, something new happens once a while.
Like a Two & a Half day company-wide corporate portrait shoot, shooting almost back-to-back, 150+ people!
We have shot more for other companies, but THIS is different.
- We have to handle the portrait shoot schedule (previously, the client did their own scheduling or none at all)
- This is an MNC, and there are at least 5 nationalities to juggle 😐
- Do we have to do this the hard way? Edit, pack and zip all edited photos into the respective folder, name them and have them sent INDIVIDUALLY!
1. We have to handle the corporate portrait shoot schedule.
Now, I’m not talking about booking the shoot dates with the client.
Here, the client wants us to have a platform that allows the staff to book themselves a session.
Some quick neuron sparks in the head tell me this is going to be a logistic nightmare.
All the email exchanges, cross-checking on the calendar, double bookings, and what if they want to change their reservations 1 am in the morning?
But hey, we are in the there’s-an-app-for-everything era right?
And behold, there are indeed at least 5 decent appointment scheduling apps around that can help manage the stress.
Before I know it, I have spent 2 days signing up and testing out the final 3 contenders before proposing to the client on the 2 best apps to test on.
The final app is the best as it allows the minimum 5-min block*. Just enough time for me to complete a person’s portrait. And that’s what I thought.
Plus, it covers a few requirements by the client, such as email notification upon booking; reminder email; staff self-administration (to change the time slot), etc.
*Previously I’ve managed to do corporate portrait shoot under 3min for C-suites and celebrities. However, it’s because the former has no time for an extended shoot session while the latter knew exactly how to pose.
This time around, we are talking about ordinary folks like you and me!
And I’m required to cover each person with TWO different backgrounds!
Good lesson: There’s indeed an app for everything. Don’t give up so soon. Keep searching for that right app for the situation.
2. The client is an MNC; there are at least 5 nationalities to juggle. Don’t forget to juggle your toilet breaks too!
Having to work with people from different countries and culture is a challenge in itself.
Every new appointment gives you a surprise. The names on the scheduling list sometimes give a hint but most of the time, it’s a surprise.
We’ll have to play by ear, and eye, praying hard I know how to speak and respond to each of them.
However, no matter how hyper the photographer can be trying to keep the energy level up, sooner or later the bladder will catch up with you.
This is when you have to rely on your assistant to pre-empt you if you have time between slots for the toilet dash.
Good lesson: Please block out 5min every 2 hours of corporate portrait shoot to freshen up and relief yourself so you can give your best to everyone.
3. Laziness makes you work smarter!
Maybe not lazy per se, but being time conscious.
After photo editing, the process of creating a new folder, naming it, compressing it takes at least 15secs each.
Not a big deal until you have to do this 150 times! That’s 2250sec or 37.5min of doing the same repetitive action.
The good news is, we
lazy efficient people know how to find solutions. A quick search and I’ve found a script for creating folders based on a list of names in a txt file.
Next, I also found an automated script for batch compressing of multiple folders into individual zip files.
How long does it take to perform the respective task with the scripts?
Creating 150 folders: 10min setting up, and 1 sec for it to perform (it seems more like instantaneous)
Batch-compressing of folders into individual zip files: another 10mins to set up, and running it unsupervised while I go for my break.
Now I know how to repeat the same action should the same challenging tasks arise again!
Next, sending the zip files to every individual.
Imagine the pain of crafting every message, from greeting to instructions to a simple call-to-action.
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TIMES!
This is where the email signature function saves the day!
Create a new signature with that canned message and use it for every new email.
Just make sure that you call out to the right person.
Good lesson: When working in bulk, find scripts. Any shortcut will help keep your sanity.
So how’s the end result?